|Sarah Josepha Hale|
I was recently asked an interesting question. What inspires you? Without thinking I answered jokingly, coffee and chocolate. My husband can attest that I am not a morning person, so it is true the thought of a good cup of joe motivates me when the annoying sound of the alarm clock doesn't. I probably don't even need to explain the magnetic force of chocolate.
But what really motivates me is everyday people who overcome obstacles with grace and dignity. Which brings me to the mention an unlikely heroine born more than two hundred years ago, but we feel her contributions still today. Her name is Sarah Josepha Hale.
Though women of the time could not attend college, Sarah was fortunate to have a mother who encouraged her to read and learn. She also had a brother who did attend and taught her as much as he could.
In 1822, when she was expecting her fifth child, her husband died of pneumonia. To support herself she first took a job making hats, and at night while her children slept, she wrote.
She also wrote for magazines and was eventually offered a job for Ladies Magazine and later for another influential magazine, Godey's Lady's Book. She wanted to expand women's minds beyond fashion, so she published articles on history, science, household advice, and advocated for female education.
Her collection of Poems for Our Children was published
in 1930 and included, "Mary Had a Little Lamb."
Even though George Washington proclaimed a national day of Thanksgiving in 1789 to recognize the success and conclusion of the War of Independence, for the most part, the recognition of an official holiday was a state or local affair. Typically the governors would select a date in late November or early December.
But the idea of a celebration after the harvest was certainly nothing new. The cattle drives ended by the end of November and farmers would have completed their harvest, both would be a cause for a celebration.
Unsuccessful, she continued her quest and wrote letters to five Presidents, Finally in 1863, Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens," to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November.
Over the years Sarah published articles and recipes for roast turkey with sage dressing, mashed potatoes and pies that to this day are associated with the celebration. By the time Thanksgiving became an official national holiday, her magazine had already inspired women to want to participate.
So what about you? What inspires you?
In my debut novel, Rebecca's Hope, I introduce several inspiring young women who face everyday obstacles typical of the 19th century with grace and dignity.
Rebecca's Hope, combines History, Humor, and Romance with an emphasis on Faith, Friends, and Good Clean Fun. Rebecca's Hope is a work of fiction that reminds us how God can use adversity to strengthen us and draw us closer to Him and give us the desires of our heart in ways we may never expect.
Fans of western historical romance will enjoy this beautiful story set in the late 19th-century of love and forgiveness. As the unfortunate circumstances of Rebecca's childhood unfold, we discover a heroine who is both resilient and kind. Rebecca and Sam's love story will have readers rooting for their happy ending.
Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/authorkimberlygrist